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Sunday
Sep042011

Sunday's Hymn: Jesus What a Friend for Sinners

or Our Great Saviour, as it’s titled in my hymnal.

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Refrain

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Jesus! I do now receive Him,
[or Jesus! I do now adore Him,]
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

J. Wil­bur Chap­man

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.

Saturday
Sep032011

Round the Sphere Again: Weekend Twofer

On Ice
The disappearing river mystery. A rushing river not too far from here went missing over the summer. Okay, so the story’s interesting, but it’s the accompanying glacier berg photos that earned it a link here. (CBC News).

And while we’re discussing icy phenomena, why not test your knowledge of hail terminology? “The National Weather Service uses real-world objects to report the size of hail. Can you name the 14 items in their chart?” (mental_floss).

I’m a little embarrassed to report that I could name only four of them. Maybe that’s because we never get anything larger than BB sized hail here.

For Kids
A list good Christian books for children, by age group, and few books for parents, too (Reformation Theology).

What’s more, here’s a children’s Bible reading plan (HeadHeartHand Blog).

Friday
Sep022011

Status Report: September

Sitting… on the couch with the dogs. (Yes, I allow the dogs on the couch. What good is a pet dog if you can’t cuddle with it?)

Eating… my breakfast cereal. (Yes, it’s too late for breakfast. If you must know, I accidently slept in.)

Feeling… cold. It gets quite cold overnight now—I’ve been bringing the tomato plants in every evening—and I haven’t turned up the heat. See, I need the dogs with me on the couch; it’s a two-dog morning.

Also feeling… stiff and sore. The outdoor work I’ve done lately is catching up with me.

Remembering… that while I usually turn off the furnace for a couple of months during the summer, it never got warm enough for that this year. Yes, it was the summer that never was. I take that back: It was the summer that lasted a week or two and is now long past.

Wondering… if the weather this fall will continue to be be colder than normal or will it be warmer because we’re due for good things weather-wise. I’m going with colder than normal, and no, I’m not a pessimist. I’m a Yukon weather realist.

Liking… all the ruby red jars of jam lined up on the shelf in the basement.

Appreciating… the new container of raspberries that my daughter-in-law picked so that I could make yet more jam for the pretty little jam jars I picked up at a garage sale last Saturday. 

Thinking… that I am not sad that the landcruiser sold. This surprises me a little. It belonged first to my husband, so I was sentimentally attached, or so I thought. 

Anticipating… picking some of the cranberries that are so big and plentiful this year. All that miserable rain has at least one benefit: lots of juicy red berries. 

Reminding… myself that I need to get up off the couch because I have a long to-do list and not enough hours left to accomplish it all. 

Thursday
Sep012011

Thankful Thursday

 

Such a busy day! It’s 11:20pm and I’m just getting around to posting a few things for which I’m thankful this week. 

I’m thankful that my son sold his landcruiser so quickly. It’s not a family vehicle and he’ll soon be a family man. (And what young family can’t use a little more income?) The ‘cruiser was sold before it’d been advertised to the first person who looked at it. I’m very thankful that it’s a done deal and that my Father worked in everything to accomplish it.

I’m thankful for my grandchild soon to be born. I’m thankful that my daughter-in-law feels (and looks) so good this late in her pregnancy. 

I’m thankful for my sister and the care she gives to her children and my dad. I’m thankful that God gives her strength and wisdom.

I’m thankful that we had a few rain-free days so that I could finish staining my deck.

I’m thankful that my days are ordered by a loving God who can be trusted.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.

Thursday
Sep012011

The Cross of Christ: Looking Below the Surface

As you know, I’m participating in this round of Reading Classics Together at Challies.com. This week I read the third chapter of John Stott’s The Cross of Christ.  This chapter, titled Looking Below the Surface, answers the question, “What was there about the crucifixion of Jesus which, in spite of its horror, shame and pain, makes it so important that God planned it in advance and Christ came to endure it?”

Stott answers this question with four points:

  1. Christ died for us.
  2. Christ died for us that he might bring us to God.
  3. Christ died for our sins.
  4. Christ died our death, when he died for our sins.

Of course, he doesn’t just list these points, but fleshes them out. I’m going to leave, however, them as bullet points and move on to the second section of this chapter, where Stott looks at three of the main scenes from Jesus’s last day—the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemene, and Jesus’s cry of dereliction on the cross—to see what Jesus said about what was happening and what would happen. Do the four points listed above “fit the facts” that are recorded for us in the gospels?

The Last Supper
Jesus’s words and actions teach us his own explanation of the meaning and purpose of his death.

  1. Christ’s death was central to his mission:
    The Lord’s Supper, which was instituted by Jesus, and which is the only regular commemorative act authorized by him, dramatizes neither his birth nor his life, neither his words nor his works, but only his death. Nothing could indicate more clearly the central significance that Jesus attached to his death. It was by his death that he wished above all else to be remembered.
  2. Christ’s death took place for the purpose of establishing a new covenant and obtaining forgiveness of sin. His blood is “the blood of the new covenant,  which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
  3. Christ’s death needs to be appropriated personally. The dramatization in the Lord’s Supper
    did not consist of one actor on the stage with a dozen in the audience. No, it involved them as well as him. … The eating and drinking were, and still are, a vivid acted parable of receiving Christ as our crucified Saviour and of feeding on him in our hearts by faith.

The Garden of Gethsemane
The “cup” symbolised the agony of enduring the judgment of God that our sins deserved.

God’s purpose of love was to save sinners, and to save them righteously; but this would be impossible without the sin-bearing death of the Saviour.

And so Jesus resolved to drink the cup; he willingly went finish his work by enduring the agony of the cross.

The Cry of Dereliction on the Cross
This section focuses on the meaning of Jesus’s cry, “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?”Stott understands these words to mean that “an actual and dreadful separation took place between the Father and the Son.” This is one place where I’ll have to disagree with him, although I don’t have time to explain my reasoning in this post. Still, I do think the Jesus’s cry shows us something of his anguish on the cross. And when he cries out, “It is finished,” he is indeed declaring that he has accomplished our salvation.

Stott sums thing up by saying that the cross enforces these three truths:

  1. Our sin must be extremely horrible if there was no other way to forgive it but that Christ should bear it himself.
  2. God’s love must be wonderful beyond comprehension if he “pursued us even to the desolate anguish of the cross….”
  3. Salvation must be a free gift. Christ declared it “finished.” What is left for us to contribute?

And so ends the first part of The Cross of Christ. Next week’s reading is from the second part, The Heart of the Cross.